Antonio Sánchez is President of Blockchain Andalucía and Cardano’s Ambassador to Spain. Cointelegraph in Spanish spoke to him about blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and the latest Spanish news on the subject.
Fernando Quirós (FQ): How did you get into the world of blockchain technology?
Antonio Sánchez (AS): It was the end of 2010. I had a higher degree in computer science when one of my teachers told me about Bitcoin. At first I didn’t pay much attention to it, but I started to inquire and get good information, and then my vision changed dramatically. I saw Bitcoin as a revolution, an open source and peer-to-peer networking project where anyone who wanted could make payments between peers easily and quickly, and most importantly, without being dependent on an entity or a bank . Since that day, I’ve understood that Bitcoin and the technology behind it can change things. Then I started to look deeper and set up my own Bitcoin node. I inserted another one from PeerCoin that many people don’t know yet, but it was the first crypto to use PoS. The first years were very calm. They were the three pioneers back in 2013: Bitcoin, Litecoin and PeerCoin. The ones people followed. Then, in 2015, with Ethereum’s exit, everything changed. Suddenly, the networks were flooded with news and information about blockchain. It was then that I started to study this technology more.
CF: How do you see the interest in this technology in Andalusia? Is there potential?
AS: It is clear that Madrid and Barcelona are currently the birthplace of blockchain in Spain. There are many companies that launch and implement blockchain solutions, but we also have very powerful companies in Andalusia.
I currently know several companies that are starting to work with blockchain technology. Many are still reluctant to implement anything with this technology, but it is true that everyone wants to know what it is about and what is behind the words blockchain.
For example, Andalusian technology parks use TrustOS, the Telefónica system that provides a Hyperledger Fabric Node, although the park companies may not be using it, possibly due to lack of training or information about it.
I believe that once blockchain technology is a little more mature, many companies want to implement solutions for this technology. Imagine the possibilities of implementing a traceability solution for all horticultural companies in the province of Almería. I think there is still enormous potential that has not yet been exhausted.
FQ: Which industries are most interested in this technology?
AS: Perhaps it would be better to ask it this way: who is encouraged to implement this technology? I think any sector could develop a solution based on blockchain technology. You should only have one need, develop the solution later and be able to solve it. From banking to a farmer who has a country where he grows organic walnuts, a social currency or an instrument to improve a neighboring community, you can do a lot of things with this technology today. You just have to want to have the resources and the people to do it.
FQ: Do you think blockchain is a fad or does it solve problems?
AS: I trust that people believe more in the latter, although everything has to be seen with a slightly more technical vision. Many of the solutions presented today could be solved without blockchain. You need to know how to differentiate the technical part of things. It seems that the word blockchain is very good in a project today, but that doesn’t mean that its use is not suitable for this solution. I don’t think it’s a fad, although many companies have used it incorrectly. You may need to do a good concept analysis and assess whether blockchain can offer something that improves the possibilities of other current technologies.
FQ: What is Blockchain Andalucía and how did it come about?
AS: I am one of those who believe that technology has emerged to make people’s jobs easier, and as a good Andalusian and supporter of blockchain technology, I was thinking of starting an association. Over the years there has been time for many things to see how the sector evolved, it was necessary to position quickly, I have created an SL with an Ethereum Smart contract with other partners and the capital that we also had at ETH. I have put together a digital will solution that also integrates crypto assets, and I am currently ambassador for Cardano and Aeternity in Spain. All of this has been in the works for years, but I don’t think we have yet recognized the potential of this technology. Every day there is more acceptance and more people are encouraged to get involved in this world in some way, either by attending meetups, training on this technology, or reading the news media that provide us with all kinds of information like you to do.
FQ: You are an ambassador from Cardano. What can you tell us about this cryptocurrency? What makes it different from others?
AS: From the start, Bitcoin changed my perspective. Later, over the years, Ethereum appeared with its smart contracts and the very easy way to build your own token. However, when I got to know the Cardano project, I was really fascinated.
Cardano has what every project has to have: a very strong development team with highly qualified employees and a high level of knowledge. I’m talking about IOHK. Then we have the Cardano Foundation, which is responsible for protecting and promoting technology that complies with the Cardano protocol, as well as for the growth of the Cardano community and supporting their adoption. Finally, we developed Emurgo, which, in addition to supporting and promoting the incubation of projects based on Cardano’s blockchain technology, also developed.
We are currently in the TestNet phase. We have almost 950 active pools with a total of 12.70 billion ADA that use more than 19,600 Cardano holders. These are very good numbers to find us in a test phase. As soon as the MainNet is launched, everything will change, it will be a great day and great progress, for sure.
Cardano is not just another project in the blockchain ecosystem. In my view, Cardano could be one of the projects with the greatest future, not only because of its scientific base or the team behind each of the three pillars above, but also because of its community. It may be a slower project compared to others, but everything that is done is done in detail, audits are performed, and an attempt is made to fix bugs as soon as possible.
I think you have to do things right, BlockChain technology is practically new and it takes time to assemble such a large project. You don’t have to run to be the first, you have to do it well and safely. In the end it is important to have a cheap, simple and, above all, secure BlockChain solution.
FQ: What potential do you see for Bitcoin?
AS: Bitcoin was the forerunner of all the movement we know in the world today. Crypto, the money of the future, as I like to call it. I usually think that Bitcoin has the potential that we all want to give because more and more people are interested in it and the more acceptance and more projects or platforms use it, the closer we will be to this dream that started with a role knows.
I trust and believe in the technical part of things, Bitcoin was and always will be the first cryptocurrency, and by that I mean that thanks to him, people like me have been involved in this world; Thanks to her, we may be part of something that will revolutionize tomorrow and make our world a better world.
Maybe all of this will be very different in a few years. As we have seen in history, there is no one today who uses email that was initially reluctant to use. Who says we’ll be collecting our blockchain payroll from either Bitcoin or another platform in a few years? In the end, we’re all looking for the same thing, this technology makes it easier for us.
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